After a closed-door preview of Rockstar’s Bully, a Florida judge states that the game is not a “public nuisance” and declines to prevent its release.
In a brief court appearance last Friday, Judge Ronald Friedman of the Miami-Dade County Circuit Court declined to restrict sales of Bully, which is due to hit store shelves this Tuesday. The restrictions were sought by Florida attorney and games regulation activist Jack Thompson, who had filed a lawsuit alleging that the game violated state “public nuisance” statutes and would provoke youth violence.
Judge Friedman’s decision was made after spending about two hours examining Bully with a Rockstar representative in an unprecedented preview he ordered last week. The judge did not issue a formal ruling on the allegations of Thompson’s lawsuit, but said he would consider the matter in a later hearing if Thompson wished. Thompson has since indicated that he will not revisit the issue.
Regarding the details of the game’s content, the judge said, “I’m not going to let the cat out of the bag” but commented, “There’s a lot of violence. A whole lot. Less than we see on television every night. Does that mean I would want my children to view it? No. But does it rise to a point that it’s a nuisance? The answer is no from what I saw.”
Immediately following the decision, Thompson asked Florida’s Third District to compel production of Bully and grant him a “real hearing” on the matter. His petition was denied. Thompson also asked Judge Friedman to compel Rockstar to provide him a copy of the game. The Judge granted the request, but specified that Thompson wouldn’t get the game until after its retail release. Finally, Thompson issued an angry public letter denouncing the Judge and his decisions. GamePolitics has the letter in its entirety.